BUTLER, Tenn. (WJHL)- The public will soon learn more about a 130-acres development with a lakeside view that could bring hundreds of jobs to the region.
The proposal to build a resort on Watauga Lake in Carter County is getting mixed reviews.
Earlier this year the Carter County Planning Commission approved the plans.
The developer of the proposed resort already has plans in the works to attract visitors to Watauga lake.
Daniel Goodhall says that a fall festival this year will hopefully be the first time the public will be able to see the potential of the resort for themselves.
“We’re hoping to have a fall festival announced soon to where all the locals can bring their crafts and fairs and a pumpkin patch for the kids. It will be a little rough because we obviously won’t have a lot of the building, but we’ll pitch up the tents. One of the plans is a horse and carriage from the bottom to the top and then a skating rink for the local kids. We’ll do that this year, yes. Were going to introduce it to the community so they can kind of see it, kind of knockdown if there’s any questions, we’ll have a lot of our family members there to answer any questions or concerns they might have,” said Goodhall.
Pat Bosch has lived in the area for almost three years and is hoping Goodhall can answer some of her questions before attending any events.
“We recently heard about a groundbreaking early October and you know some people may go and celebrate, but we would feel better about attending if he gave us some information. That way we didn’t just walk in there blindsided. We really don’t know what to expect so it’s hard to express feelings when you don’t know what the resort is going to do to the area,” said Bosch.
Bosch said her big concern is about construction equipment going up and down the narrow roads.
“We have narrow roads here because we don’t have a lot of traffic and the county said they cannot stop them from using those county roads,” said Bosch.
Goodhall said another question people are asking is how the land will be preserved.
Grading permits and soil conservation must still be reviewed by the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation.
“Almost all of the property is being returned back into the green belt. We’re working with both the state and the national forestry services to make sure that we preserve the forest because the asset that we’re all trying to protect is this lake,” said Goodhall.
The October 17th date for the groundbreaking of the resort is tentative said Goodhall because T-DEC still has to review permits.
“That’s a date that has been mentioned and the county has mentioned about that date but we’re still out of respect to the process, the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation still has permits, and they are being reviewed. Soon as T-DEC finishes their process and their review, and if they have any questions we certainly want to be very responsive to them, then we can make any official announcements. We hope that’s still the date but T-DEC still has to give us their nod and their approval,” said Goodhall.
He says that even newer plans to enhance the project are in the works.